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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Exposé of a Scumbag Bathroom

When one has worked a very long time alone, one's bathroom may diverge from the expectations of a judgmental society. I won't say that my workshop bathroom is disgusting or disgraceful-- that might lead you to think the walls are urine-stained or that somebody shat in the sink. This is no vomitorium or rat’s nest. It's just that there isn't a clean square inch in the room, more in the style of an abandoned-building than a porta-potty.

In warmer months, the toilet bowl often grows a thin film of amber, algae-like scum, currently dormant.
A few times a year, someone else does use my bathroom, occasionally even a woman. I try not to feel embarrassed, because if anyone should feel embarrassed, it is that person whose body goes needy beyond the confines of their own domain. "Beggars can't be choosers" applies to boweling through the wilderness, be it national forest or my shop. My wife has been in there at least twice, and she didn't flip out, so it is better than horrifying. One time my sister used it, and she volunteered something like, "It wasn't even very dirty," but I think I had just wiped off the sink the day before, which doesn't happen very often. By nasal standards alone, it is at least as good as a gas-station bathroom, though probably not as good as most highway rest areas (those do vary a lot by state).

Left over from years when I had to reload Chesterfield’s public bathrooms’ air freshener dispensers, I have several cans of scenty spray. I’m not a big fan of these, especially if they smell like flowers. They produce a “Dump & Roses” effect for me: I smell the floral intermingled with the fecal, which is just as gross, and then my brain associates the two smells until perfumes alone make me think someone is concealing poo, or more commonly, urinary incontinence. Sometime last year, this can blew a seal and leaked its contents unrelentingly. For about a month, my bathroom was a raging Country Garden from a Hades of old ladies.

I probably only kept this can around because it is called “Air Neutralizer.” I used to make fun of it with my brother, and with Marcus when he worked here, like so: (pointing at can) “Here, use this, it neutralizes the air!” Then one or both of us act like we’re choking in a vacuum, a la Schwartzeneggar in Total Recall. Once, we had some theory that in Transformers cartoons, Megatron would change from a small gun (light enough for a human to wield) into a 3-story robot by sucking up all the air for about a cubic mile around him, to augment his mass, with the added bonus of suffocating all local Earthlings. Can't remember if it had anything to do with Country Garden Air Neutralizer. Frakkin' nerds.

"sassy citrus" joins "Cinni-minis" on the list of stuff you could not get Robert McCann to ask for, even if the need arose.
I like this other kind of air freshener much better, despite the name “Sassy Citrus.” It smells like a bunch of baby aspirin dissolved in an Orange Julius. Maybe twice a year, I spray it. Then I get a chuckle over its name in French: “Agrume Insolent.” You gotta wonder if a French-speaking person would read this label and say, “Man, why is that spray called Disrespectful Citrus? That's so gay!”

Door features sliding bolt lock so you can pass out and not be rescued/disturbed.

Just inside the door, grubby delights abound. "TURN LigHt OFF" is written in red marker over the light switch. Larry Sandfort, my maintenance predecessor, must have written it. It's crooked and unhinged looking, like a crazy person writing with difficulty, maybe because the marker was running dry, or maybe his stability was. Did he write it for himself, or for his two Mexican workers?

I have two different kinds of toilet paper. Notably, I'm down to the last few squares of the good soft kind that was brought in by the wife of the mowing contractor who used to do most of our mowing. She used to max out my toilet paper, as women are sometimes wont to do, until I just let it run out. Finally she brought in two rolls, which I inherited after they lost the mowing contract. That was at least four years ago. I ration it stingily into the normal supply, for those extra special wiping moments.

My many plungers have become a spiderweb fortification for the entrapment of cave crickets. Below the webs, a couple of bleached sunflower seed shells. I can't remember spitting them out, but maybe I did. Or maybe the spiders slaughtered a sunflower seed.

There's almost always a stupid cave cricket in here but I don't see one now. Also known as camelback crickets, they're those ones with long, spindly legs, hairlike antennae, and flippy behavior that does not include chirping. As far as I know they serve no purpose but hanging out in dim places like basements and then hopping like mad when you get too close. Megan, Marcus's wife, was here once and I think she had to curtail her bathrooming because she is downright phobic of cave crickets. She saw one in here; other than screaming and starting to cry, she didn't have that much trouble. Marcus also threw up in here once after eating a banana and likely having a violent reaction to Roundup. So this has not been a providential restroom for Marcus and Megan. The paper towel dispenser still holds a little bottle of expired eyedrops left behind by Marcus. He used to get allergy eyes, rub his orbits into red goggles, then come in here for some soothing drops.

I skimp on the Ajax.
There's also a toothbrush, and some of the worst cheapo toothpaste ever created, for those days when I have to go straight from work to the dentist. Just to the left of the sink, out of the photo, there's a night light that used to have a big shellacked sycamore leaf over it. It looked cool because the light revealed all the veins in the leaf. But I got sick of it being all curled over after the first year, and threw it away.

Better than the flake of bar soap left crusted to the sink.
 This soap is probably the finest thing in the room. It has a fish printed on an inner layer of plastic so that it floats in the meniscus and gives a 3-D aquarium effect. I got it foe a dollah. Can you believe it was on clearance?

Beneath the sink, an impressive cobweb rope, Todd McFarlane style, connects the sink drain to the heater. A fourth plunger, a bottle of long-expired sunscreen.

 I normally leave the ancient sunscreen bottle face down on the floor because it depicts a cartoon scene of child disrobing that may qualify as kiddie porn today. The bottle is marked "1990." I should probably throw it away. On the plus side, SPF 15 was likely pretty high-powered shit back then, and it is PABA free.

Two different dressers recovered from dumpsters now hold supplies.

Next, the water heater, and a shelf of cleaning agents. A lifetime supply because I rarely use them. No person of any standing needs to use this bathroom, and if they do, I don't really want them loving the experience. Then they might want to come use it again. Also, a working blood centrifuge I pulled out of a dumpster. Had to have it for the "BIOHAZARD" sticker alone, but thus far have found no practical use for it. Ditto the duster.

For some reason, the scene reminds me of Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol. I think it's the guy with the airplane wing for a head.
Under the black cloth, a little assemblage called Chaos Nativity, where a happy-face baby has been born to a cadre of weirdos. The night light built into it burned out, so the moon and stars no longer glow, which was really the coolest feature. Should fix.

Finally, before exiting the room, one more array of junk, and the Pink Floyd gals poster I got on Amazon for something like 20 cents (more with postage). This is where you dry your hands and look at the rears of women treated as painting surfaces. I love them all, but in particular, the two tallest (Wish You Were Here and The Wall). This always reminds me that my wife insists I am an outlier because I like tall women. Well, wouldn't it be weak not to?

The shelf below includes a fruity candle given to me when I returned a lost wallet to some woman who made them. I've never burned it, though I think it smells pretty good, like berries.

There you have a semi-exhausting study of my work bathroom; at least, all that should go before the public eye.

1 comment:

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